Saturday, 27 June 2015

Anxiety - The Physical Effects.

Now I know before I get into this post that not everyone will be able to relate.  One reason simply being that not everyone has anxiety and another main reason being that all anxiety is different.  However, although you may not have anxiety yourself or you may experience anxiety differently, it is very likely that someone you know may have it or deal with it in the same/ a similar way as I will be mentioning in this post and therefore it may be nice for you to have a brief look into what it is like for some people to get a better understanding.

I know there will be some people out there that think anxiety is a 'trend' that everyone is jumping on or a situation that someone is making up to seek attention but I sincerely believe this is not true (*). Anxiety is a genuine Mental Health problem and 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer from some kind of Mental Health problem - with anxiety and depression being the top 2 most common. Many people will think anxiety is all in the mind but it is very common that people will suffer with the physical side of things also.

Now without further ado I would like to give a little insight into anxiety and what it is like to live with the physical effects. Before I jump into this I would just like to state I am not an expert/Doctor - just a normal person living with anxiety - like I said not everyone will experience these symptoms as anxiety is different in everyone.
  • Pain - Whether it be headache, stomach ache or chest pains, anxiety is very good at causing physical pain. Headaches can stem from the stress and tension that comes with anxiety - typically called 'Tension Headaches'. Chest pains, like headaches, can stem from the simple stress of anxiety or from Panic Attacks (another physical factor). Stomach pain is common in anxiety as often anxiety sufferers will also deal with IBS.
  • Panic Attacks - In the words of Google a Panic Attack is 'a sudden overwhelming feeling of acute and disabling anxiety.' This can include but is not limited to - chest pain (as mentioned earlier), palpitations/ change in heart rate, hyperventilating/ shortness of breath, nausea, trembling/ shaking, sweating/chills , inability to move and/ or feeling of change in surroundings (e.g feeling detached).
  • IBS - As mentioned above people with anxiety may also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which can cause bloating, pain and discomfort to the stomach. This in itself can alter from person to person whether they have an urgency to use or are unable to use the toilet normally.
  • Mouth Ulcers - Recurrent mouth ulcers can be a result of stress, anxiety and IBS. They basically all walk hand in hand! Mouth ulcers are usually red or white in colour and are usually inflamed. They can be very uncomfortable/ painful but are otherwise harmless. 
  • Hair Loss - Another way of your body telling you it is stressed. This can occur where the hair falls out in clumps, where gradually more hair than normal falls out or in some cases where the person unknowingly pulls it out. 
  • Spots - Spots are not just limited to teenagers - plenty of adults can break out due to a number of reasons - two of these being anxiety and stress. When anxious the body can let out excess stress hormones - one being Cortisol. This hormone imbalance can result in spots. 

The ironic thing is that you suffer these symptoms because you are anxious/stressed but these symptoms can then in-fact make you more stressed and anxious which results in a vicious cycle. These symptoms can and do effect peoples everyday life and that is without the mental symptoms of anxiety.

If you need any help with anxiety there are people out there that can help.
http://www.mind.org.uk
http://www.anxietyunited.co.uk

Hopefully this post was interesting for some of you. Let me know if you would like another anxiety post (e.g mental effects, my story and/or anything else). Do you suffer from anxiety? If so, what symptoms do you suffer from?

(*) Obviously I cannot vouch for all situations but I would like to believe that nobody is using anxiety for this reason. 
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2 comments

  1. I have anxiety and as the post above says, thank you for sharing this. I don't understand why people think it's "cool" to have anxiety. Having an ACTUAL panic attack is horrible, you genuinely think you're dying. There is nothing "cool" about it! Really enjoyed this post :) xx

    Courtney | http://courtzmelv.com

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    1. Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment!
      Anxiety is so scary for those of us who suffer from it and like you said I often feel like I might be dying when I have a panic attack! I will never understand the people that pretend :(
      Thank you again, I'm so glad you could relate :) x

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